Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, has teamed up with Prostate Cancer Canada to encourage Canadians to bust out their plaid attire on June 17 to support awareness and raise funds for Prostate Cancer.
“I am honoured once again this year to be working with Prostate Cancer Canada, acting as an ambassador in the Wear Plaid for Dad campaign. The toll that cancer takes on a family can be overwhelming. Prostate cancer will affect one in eight Canadian men in their lifetime. With numbers like that, we all know someone whose family has been affected by this disease. We’re talking about fathers and sons, husbands and brothers. The numbers are staggering. My hope is that with Prostate Cancer Canada, we can together shine a brighter light on prostate cancer, towards ensuring that funds are directed towards the very best research around prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship,” said Norman.
According to the statistics, this year alone, 4,100 men will fall victim to Prostate Cancer.
“The problem is, guys being guys, we are our own worst enemy. We don’t like to talk about health we think we are supermen, so we don’t go to the doctor. So, we are looking for ways to break that stigma and raise funds and awareness for the disease,” said Rocco Rossi, President of Prostate Cancer Canada.
Rossi reached out to Norman, a cancer survivor himself, to join the campaign. The two met and brainstormed the idea for “Plaid for Dad.”
“I said, instead of a dress down day, instead of a jeans day, why don’t we take the last Friday before Fathers Day, to connect to the day of the greatest emotion about the men in our lives, and challenge Canadians to wear plaid for dad. Canadians can make a donation and upload pictures of themselves on social media to raise awareness. It’s not just for men, but the families who are often the ones that encourage the men in their lives to get tested,” said Rossi.
Workplaces and industries are challenged to take part in the campaign. For example, Canadian first responders challenging one another. Norman will be representing the Canadian Armed Forces, Police Chief Mark Saunders will represent the Toronto Police, and Randy Mellow, head of Paramedic Chiefs of Canada will be taking part. Even premiers across the country are challenging one another.
“On that day, people will come dressed in plaid. Some will be in elegant plaid some will unleash their inner Don Cherry and have some fun,” added Rossi.
Last year more than 200 workplaces took part and this year the campaign is well on its way to having 1,000 places of work participate.
Rossi says they’re even on track to raise ten times more than last year, largely due to Hudson’s Bay’s participation in the campaign. Hudson’s Bay has created six different plaid shirts and has committed to donate $12 of every shirt to Prostate Cancer Canada, with a minimum pledge of $150,000.
The campaign has attracted well-known celebrities to jump on board as ambassadors including Don Cherry and actor Eric McCormack.
“We are relay thrilled at how it’s picked up and how it’s being embraced. It’s amazing to watch people embrace the concept because of how much they love the men in their lives and the families who are affected by the health of men in their lives,” mentioned Rossi.
Whether it’s on an individual or group level, Rossi encourages all Canadians to jump in and wear plaid on June 17.
“Dad doesn’t need another tie. If we want to celebrate the dads that we have with us and the dads that we may have lost, one of the best ways to do that is to bust out some plaid on Friday, June 17 and upload pictures and messages so that we remove the stigma from this disease and continue on a path to eliminating the death and suffering caused by Prostate Cancer,” said Rossi.
To make the pledge to wear plaid or learn more visit the Plaid for Dad website.